(photo credit: Courtesy)
If one were to look only at the international dance companies that have performed in Israel in the past year, it would seem that Spain has a firm hold on our audiences. We have hosted dozens of artists hailing from Madrid, Barcelona, Andalusia and farther afield and seem only to want more. This past summer, the Madridanza festival was specifically dedicated to showcasing the best of current Spanish dance.
It is safe to say that Israeli audiences appreciate flamenco dancing. Perhaps it is the warm air that wafts through both countries that links our artistic tastes. Maybe flamenco is just a whole lot of fun to watch.
Now joining the long list of accomplished Spanish artists to visit us,
which has included Rafael Amargo and Antonio Najarro, is Miguel Angel
Berna. He has visited Israel before as a soloist, but for this
engagement at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, he has invited his
company of dancers to join him on stage. This week, Berna’s Danze Viva
will perform Goya, a new piece by Berna as part of Tel Aviv Dance 2010.
Growing up in Spain, Berna was no stranger to dance. He was born in
Sargossa, in the northeast of the country. This region, Aragon, is
famous for jota, a type of music and dance that focuses largely focused
on the playing of castanets. By the age of 10, Berna was already a
veteran of the stage, where he performed jota. Although it is practiced
around the area, Sargossa is regarded as the true home of jota and the
place where one is most likely to see the art in its purest form.
As a young man, Berna strived to blend the style of his youth with
modern-day flamenco. In 2001, he founded his company Danze Viva and won
immediate attention with Templanza, his creation for the troupe. In the
past decade, Danze Viva has enjoyed season after season of creativity
and international acclaim.
Goya is an insight into the works of cherished Spanish painter Francisco
Goya, who is also a native of Aragon. Throughout the evening, the
backdrop shows projections of Berna’s favorite Goya creations. A
harrowing set by Juan Pedro Gaspar all but transports the audience onto
Goya’s canvas. The dance piece is deeply theatrical and should be a
memorable experience.Goya will run on October 10 and 12 at 9 p.m. For tickets, visit www.israel-opera.co.il or call (03) 692-7777.